I'm gonna preface this with:
My goal in KF is to play succesfully Hell on Earth difficulty. It looks fun, it looks maddening, it's how a survival horror game should be. But I don't want to do it solo, or with one other person. That's why I wamted to play KF with Cats peeps. I needed a regular group of people who I could learn to play with, learn how they react, and enjoy conquering the difficult aspects of this awesome game.
That said, I want to share a few things I've picked up from watching HoE videos around the net, reading up on KF from various sources and most importantly from playing.
First off, once you get to suicidal everything changes. Hard and below are "easy modes" in the regards that any class can kill any zed (zombie, thing that wants to eat you etc) with relative ease as long as they have the brains and the right resources (usually enough nades in the case of fleshpounds.) Because of this "perk roles" aren't as evident as they will become on higher difficulty. However, if we start playing to strengths of our perks instead of being one man armies we'll not only be better prepared for suicidal/hoe, but we'll start winning the majority of our hard games instead of wiping.
The most important piece of advice I can give is DO NOT SHOOT THE SCRAKE OR FLESHPOUND. It bears repeating, because in lower difficulties it didn't really have a consequence, but in suicidal/hoe (and we've even seen it happen in our hard games) it will cause a wipe. DO NOT SHOOT THE SCRAKE OR FLESHPOUND. If you go to the tripwire forums (the guys who made kf) or the steam forums you will find whole posts about this one topic on the front page, usually labled in nice big bold capslocks just like I've provided. It's a simple rule to follow.
"But Norska! Someone has to shoot it!" You may be saying. Very astute of you! Specific classes have specific ways of dealing with these two zeds. General rule of thumb is as follows:
Scrake - Zerker, support, sharpshooter
Fleshpound - Demo, support, sharpshooter
If your class isn't listed next to the zed DO NOT SHOOT IT. If your class is listed KNOW WHAT TO DO TO EFFECTIVELY KILL IT. Here are some links to show how to kill them quickly and properly.
A quick note to sharpshooters; you better have damn good aim. If you look at those videos every shot is a headshot, that means 11-12 (I think the 12th in the video was a miss) headshots in a row with the EBR or 4 in a row with the xbow. Easy to do in ideal conditions where he's running in a straight line and nothing is obscuring your view, harder in just about every other map out there. Now, since we're playing with the Weapon Miod, my guess is 2-3 headshots with the sniper rifle. For the scrake, you can also use a Lever Action Rifle and stun them, but just realize it will take a few shots (5 iirc) to kill them. Also, not the position in that video, basically after the first stun on the scrake they ALWAYS lower their head, even if it looks like he is glancing around on your screen, his had hitbox is actually on his chest, so that is where you need to aim (or you can wait for him to unstun, and shoot his head regularly really fast, but that could take valuable time).
Now, on to the perks themselves.
- Obviously, medics heal. Duh. They're also semi decent "trash" clearers. (Trash refers to clots, bloats, gorefasts and crawlers.) They can take down sirens and husk in a pinch, but lack the dps to do it as quick as possible. The simplest way to think of them is as a poor mans Commando with drugs. Where they can shine though is in later waves, 5+ but especially 7+. The medic armor damage bonus has the best damage reduction in the game. They can effectively tank Fleshpounds and Scrakes while the team deals with them, and save others from taking a lot of damage. The crutch of this though is that the damage resistence only applies when they have body armor, so once the armor runs out they are just as squishy as fleshbag mcfleshypants. Ideally, they shouldn't have to tank Scrakes. Scrakes can be stunlocked, and shouldn't be damaging anyone. FPs though, that is where they save teams. By keeping the fp in one place the team can toss grenades, focus fire and dance in a merry circle without having to try and hit a cracked out light bright whizzing around. Makes things simple. Simple is good. Lastly, as said you are a poor mans commando. If your team mates need a heal, stop firing and heal. The real commando can do his job well enough while you do yours.
Support is basically the jack of all trade class. They can take out all zeds quickly and effectively, but they have a rather large achilles heal. They have a very low ammo count. HoE waves are upwards of 320 mobs. A lvl6 support has 100 shots with an aa12 and iirc 64 (32 if you give them both barrels) with the hunting shotgun. Compare this to a commandos 15 magazines for the scar and another 15 on the fn fal and you can see a world of difference. You have to know when to use that ammo to be the most effective, at the very least try and hit multiple zeds each shot. If you have a commando or firebug covering the same side as you, let them deal with the trash. Save your ammo for higher priority targets, like sirens, husks, scrakes and fps. Hell, even bloats just to clear them out of the way quickly. Trying to compete with a commando for every crawler kill is just stupid and will probably end up biting you in the ass, and getting your team wiped when you can't handle the things you were supposed to while trying to get the highest kill count.
Sharpshooters come in two flavors essentially, but both have the same role: taking out important targets quickly. Sirens, husks, scrakes and FPs, the things that can destroy a team if they aren't brought down fast. If you go the xbow/sniper route you'll have a small ammo pool, and what exactly you target will depend on the make up of the rest of the team. For instance, if you have a demo you don't need to worry about FPs and can focus on scrakes. The other loadout that is common is the Lever Action Rifle and M14. This style is much better at dealing with sirens and husks, and has the ammo capacity to handle a large number of them, and can still fend off a bit of trash. The downside is they lack the punch against the bigger guys, scrakes and FPs, needing multiple headshots to take each one down. For the most part, avoid trash unless you have no other targets, and even then just use your pistol (or m14) and save your ammo for the important stuff.
Note: In some regards, sharpshooter and support are just two sides to the same coin. They can both quickly deal with all zeds, but they both have low ammo reserves that means they should save the majority of it for the real threats to the team. Fire on trash only when needed, not as a general rule, and try and conserve the big guns for the big stuff.
Commando are the ultimate trash removal class. Clots, crawlers, gorefasts, bloats and stalkers. They have the ammo and precision firing to headshot every single one that pops infront of them. However, they should never, ever, never ever ever ever ever ever fire on scrakes or FPs. All they'll do is rage them, make things worse for everybody and potentially (probably) cause a wipe. Husks and sirens are iffy, ther are actually low priority for you unless the absolutely need to be destroyed. 4-5 headshots are needed to bring them down with a scar/fn fal, and that means that's 4-5 other mobs you could have been clearing out of the way so that the sharpshooter or support had a clear path to them. When big things start wreaking havoc, when an fp rushes past you and your team mates are dealing with it, the commando is one of the classes that holds the line. They ignore the fp, and deal with all the trash following it preventing your team from getting overwhelmed. Also, if a zerker is killing a scrake, keep all the trash around him clear. He'll love you long time (hint hint wink wink!)
Berserkers are a mix between a commando and a medic, without the heals or the range. The can tank FPs like a medic (and better than a medic once the armor is gone) and can deal with waves of trash like a commando. They can even deal with scrakes and not take a single lick of damage. This requires a fire axe and at least level 5 berserker, an alt fire head shot will stun the scrake, and a handful more will decapitate him before he can respond. Another alternative for lower level zerkers is an alt fire to the back, backstabs exist in KF, and a handful of those will stunlock and kill a scrake just like from the front. When tanking an FP the same rules as medic tanking apply, hold the FP in a good place so the rest of the team can do their thing and not get hurt. Most trash mobs are nothing for zerkers, but crawlers do cause headaches. Their movements and low stature mean you have to drastically change your aim/crouch in order to hit them. For this reason it is common for zerkers to carry a secondary ranged weapon to deal with them, such as a lever action rifle (which will one shot a crawler even on HoE difficulty). Husks and sirens also pose problems. While a zerker can do enough damage to kill them quickly, getting close enough to them in order to do so is usually rather damaging. This is another area where a secondary ranged weapon comes into use, a couple of head shots when you have to will let you kill a siren and husk from a distance.